(Yicai Global) March 16 -- German drugmaker BioNTech has agreed to give a unit of Fosun Pharmaceutical Group exclusive rights in China to its experimental Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
Fosun Pharma Industrial will develop and commercialize the inoculants based on messenger ribonucleic acid technologies, whose patent BioNTech owns, its Shanghai-based parent company said in a statement yesterday. Under the deal, Fosun Pharma will pay up to USD85 million in royalties and sales commissions of 35 percent of gross annual profits during the agreed period.
"We see this collaboration as an important step in our global effort to expedite the development of mRNA vaccines to prevent Covid-19 infection," BioNTech founder and Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said in a separate statement.
BioNTech's mRNA vaccine candidate is called BNT162. Messenger RNA is the form in which genetic information transcribed from DNA in a base sequence is transferred to a ribosome -- a tiny particle made up of RNA and other proteins present in large numbers in living cells that binds messenger RNA and transfer RNA to synthesize polypeptides and proteins.
Fosun Pharmaceutical Group's shares [SHA:600196] rose 3.3 percent today in Shanghai to close at CNY26.96 (USD3.85), while its Hong Kong-traded stock fell 2.4 percent to HKD19.48 (USD2.51).
"Our shared objective is to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus and to be able to rapidly manufacture a vaccine to turn the tide of Covid-19 infection," said Fosun Pharma CEO Wu Yifang.
Fosun Pharma Industrial will also spend USD50 million to buy 1.58 million shares of BioNTech's newly issued ordinary stocks at USD31.6 per share. The German firm's shares [NASDAQ:BNTX] climbed 8.3 percent to USD30.93 on March 13.
Founded in 1994, Fosun Pharma researches, develops and produces drugs and medical instruments and offers healthcare services. It also provides diagnosis and engages in distribution and retail of medicines. In the first half of 2019, its net profit rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier to CNY1.8 billion (USD2.58 billion) on a 19.5 percent jump in revenue to CNY14.2 billion.
Editor: Ben Armour